The Hawks needed bodies, and they got two potential starters in Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroeder, a pair of raw but extremely talented foreign imports. And I love Mike Muscala in the second round; Muscala was one of the most productive players in college basketball last season.
I'm higher on Kelly Olynyk than most; he's not a banger on the inside but is probably the most offensively skilled big man in the draft. He has a good chance of developing into a starter as his body bulks up. Colton Iverson is a third-string center, if he makes the team at all. (Note: The draft grades for Boston and Brooklyn do not take into account the trade of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.)
The Nets badly wanted Gorgui Dieng, only to grimace as the Wolves traded down and snapped him up a pick before them. They settled for Plumlee, a more athletic center who should be able to give them some backup minutes at both power spots.
Was Cody Zeller a reach? Maybe, but let's not forget, Zeller was a projected top-three pick last season, before he waded his way through a so-so sophomore season. Stan Van Gundy has told me that new 'Cats coach Steve Clifford is great at developing athletic bigs, citing Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkogulu as examples. He's got the most athletic big in the draft in Zeller.
The Bulls wanted shooters, and they got two of them in Tony Snell and Erick Murphy. Snell is an ideal Tom Thibodeau player: He can shoot and has the length and athleticism to develop into a superior defender.
No one saw Anthony Bennett coming as the No. 1 pick, which isn't to say it was a bad call. Bennett may be the most talented player in the draft. He's a tweener, but if he finds a position, look out. Sergey Karasev was projected as a lottery pick on most boards. He's another guy that could come in and play right away.
The Mavs did what they wanted to do, moving down in the draft to reduce the financial commitment to a pick and preserving as much cap space as possible. I like Larkin, but he has a ceiling. He's a backup, change-of-pace type guard that may be too small to be a full-time starter. Ledo was a steal in the second round. He's a solid shooter with prototypical size for a 2-guard.
Round 2: Erick Green, G, Virginia Tech Joffrey Lauvergne, F, Serbia
The Nuggets traded out of the first round, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. They picked up Darrell Arthur in a draft-night trade; Arthur can swing between the 4 and the 5 and is as good as any player they could have hoped to get in the back end of the first round.
I'm not the biggest fan of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; he's an excellent shooter, but I'm not sure what else he is at this point, and Detroit left Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams and Shabazz Muhammad on the table. I think they got a steal in Tony Mitchell in the second round. If Mo Cheeks can get inside Mitchell's head and get him to play hard, the North Texas forward could make a big impact.
The Warriors didn't have a pick coming into the draft and left with one, with the price only a '14 second-rounder and some cash. That's not a bad night. Nemanja Nedovic isn't a dynamic prospect, but he's a solid defender and if he can pan out as a backup in the backcourt, the Warriors will be happy.
The Rockets landed a projected first-round pick in Isaiah Canaan, a quick, sharpshooting playmaker who could immediately back up Jeremy Lin. They would have liked to move Thomas Robinson on draft night, but they can do that later.
Hill is a serviceable small forward who can defend and rebound, but chances are the Pacers could have traded down and nabbed him later. Tim Hardaway Jr. has a bigger upside and Ricky Ledo would have given the Pacers a shooting guard to complement Lance Stephenson.
You knew the Clips were going to go after a shooter, with Chauncey Billups a free agent and Eric Bledsoe trade bait. Bullock has range, though he is limited in most other areas. But if the Clippers just ask him to catch and shoot, he can do that.
Ryan Kelly: Think Troy Murphy, but a better ball handler. Had Kelly played a full season at Duke -- and had an injury not kept him out of workouts -- there is a chance he could have gone higher. As it stands, the Lakers land a decent player with a late second-rounder. Can't complain much about that.
Memphis got a steal in Jamaal Franklin, who tumbled out of the first round because he lacks NBA three-point range. Memphis is used to 2-guards who can't shoot -- see Allen, Tony -- and they may have landed a replacement for the soon-to-be free agent. The Grizzlies' analytics-heavy front office will love a guy like Franklin, who led San Diego State in most offensive categories last season, and is a capable defender.
I thought Giannis Antetokounmpo was a bit of a reach at No. 15, though there is no shortage of league executives who believe Antetokounmpo has huge point-forward potential. If Antetokounmpo lives up to some of the hype -- one exec told me he has some Kevin Durant to his game -- this grade will change quickly.
Round 2: Lorenzo Brown, G, N.C. State Bojan Dubljevic, F, Montenegro
Call me crazy, but I'm a believer in Shabazz Muhammad. The analytics guys hate him because he is so one-dimensional, but he is an NBA-scorer who will benefit from leadership from Kevin Love and the open looks he gets playing alongside Ricky Rubio. Gorgui Dieng can step in and defend, rebound and set screens right away, which is as much as you can ask for from the 21st pick.
The Pelicans gave up a lot to get their hands on Jrue Holiday -- Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 pick, and a protected '14 first rounder -- but they did land an All-Star point guard, which is no small feat. They also grabbed a projected first-round playmaker in Pierre Jackson in the second round, which should give them the luxury of trading Greivis Vasquez for perimeter help. By the way, anyone think the Pelicans see Austin Rivers as a point guard anymore?
The Knicks were looking to move up to land Dennis Schroeder but instead settled on Hardaway, a raw swingman prospect. Hardaway has plenty of upside though, and his shooting ability should make him a nice fit for a Knicks team that has built an offense predicated on it.
Steven Adams is a classic Oklahoma City pick: a raw, enormously underdeveloped center with perhaps more potential than any player in the draft. I like Alex Abrines at No. 32 but Andre Roberson at No. 26 was a stretch. He's a good defender who doesn't do much else. He could have been had later in the draft.
I'm on record here: I'm not a huge fan of Oladipo, not this high in the draft, not ahead of Ben McLemore. Oladipo's size and suspect shooting scare me, particularly when compared to McLemore, who several GM's told me should have been in the mix for the top overall pick. Oladipo is a high character guy and a hard worker, but McLemore is a star in waiting.
Round 1: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse
Round 2: Arsalan Kazemi, F, Oregon
New GM Sam Hinkie apparently likes to wheel and deal like his former boss in Houston, Daryl Morey. It took guts to flip Holiday, but in Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams the Sixers get two players who could solidify the two most important positions in the league for years to come. They also get New Orleans' protected first-rounder next season, which, when coupled with their own, could give them two lottery picks in a draft that is expected to be loaded at the top.
The Suns got a center of the future in Alex Len, whose presence could make the coveted Marcin Gortat expendable. I thought Archie Goodwin at No. 29 was a reach; Goodwin has not shown me he can be an NBA three-point shooter and is on the small side for a 2-guard. Still, a lot of teams had him slotted in the lottery during the college season, when he struggled more than people expected.
I have no idea how C.J. McCollum fits in alongside Damian Lillard; that's a dynamic scoring backcourt that will run into trouble against bigger teams. I love what the Blazers did in the second round, securing Allen Crabbe and Jeff Withey, two players I had slotted in the first round. Both Crabbe and Withey are limited, but they should develop into decent players.
It was Christmas in Sacramento when Ben McLemore fell to the Kings at No. 7. I'll say it again: McLemore is as close to a surefire All-Star as I have seen. He coasts sometimes, but Joe Johnson had a similar reputation when he came out of Arkansas in 2001. That seemed to work out OK, didn't it? Ray McCallum at No. 36 was a nice pick, too. He was one of the most talked-about players at the combine last month.
Does anyone doubt that Livio Jean-Charles will be a productive member of the Spurs' rotation in three years? The Spurs rarely miss on foreign prospects and I don't think they will miss on Jean-Charles, a tweener who has two-way player potential. Deshaun Thomas was a prolific college scorer who Gregg Popovich will undoubtedly find a role for.
Round 1: Trey Burke, G, Michigan Rudy Gobert, C, France
Round 2: N/A
The Jazz craved a point guard and they got arguably the best one in the draft in Trey Burke, who is ready to play right away. I'm not a big fan of Rudy Gobert, but getting him at the back end of the first round isn't the worst pick in the world for a team that already has two rising stars in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
There was no bigger lock in the draft than Otto Porter going to the Wizards. Porter should fit in seamlessly with a young core headlined by John Wall and Bradley Beal. I like Washington getting Glen Rice Jr. in the second round, too. Rice isn't the shooter his father was, but he thrived in the D-League last season and no one doubted his skills during a checkered career at Georgia Tech.
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